Online Opening of the New Academic Year of Catholic Students in Thu Duc: Raising Hope amid COVID-19

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Although the situation in Sai Gon is getting better, college and university students are still living with social distancing and joining virtual classrooms. Despite that physical separation, Catholic students from different universities in Thu Duc virtually gathered together to celebrate Mass to pray for their new academic year in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic on the 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time, October 10, 2021.
Chinh Tran, SJ

Chinh Tran, SJ

AMDG

The theme chosen in this new school year is “MẠCH,” which means a link and a source of the connection, while the main background of the gathering is the picture of a tree with various branches signifying Catholic student groups. The theme and image deeply symbolize God as the true source of life, who connects the tree with its branches.

To connect students from different areas of Thu Duc, ZOOM Video Conferencing was chosen as a suitable option for connecting and building friendships. Furthermore, to enhance communion with God, the students virtually joined the Eucharistic Celebration presided over by Fr. Dominic Vu Duy Cuong, SJ, at the chapel of St. Joseph Jesuit Scholasticate.

In his homily, based on the Gospel’s message, Fr. Cuong, invited young Catholic students to choose God as the source of their life and happiness, especially during the COVID-19 crisis. At the end of the Mass, Fr. Sieu added two more sources, “which are friendship and learning spirit.” “These three interconnected sources will help each student in the creation of a hope-filled future,” Fr. Sieu emphasized.

The opening of the new school year ended, but the echoes of this event are all around and continue to inspire the students to pray for hope and trust in God.   

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